Education Resources Blog

Winners Announced in Inaugural Award for Excellence in Creative School Based Therapy

Vreative School Based Therapy Award ERI

Award Winning Therapy Team from Silver Lake Preschool and Kingston Elementary School

We were thrilled to launch this award to recognize an individual/team who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment and has made outstanding contributions to the practice of school based therapy by enriching the lives of students through creative solutions.

Our awardee team has been described as meeting the most challenging of student needs in  unconventional and unique ways that engage teachers, staff and families collaboratively. 

The inaugural award goes to the therapy team of Leesa Bleicken, Eileen Beaulieu, Sandy Doogue and Kellie Theobald for their creative multidisciplinary approach to servicing their growing medically complex population at the Silver Lake Integrated Preschool and Kingston Elementary School, Massachusetts. They stood out among so many wonderful nominees.

In their nomination papers, the team was cited for several creative service delivery programs including their co-treatment paradigm that incorporated weekly take home sheets outlining the sessions using visuals, motor learning considerations, sensory exploration, music, vocabulary words, sign language, total communication methods and parent resources. Parent engagement and communication grew quickly.

We were honored to meet  such a wonderful passionate group of therapists and present them with the award at ERI’s Annual Therapies in the School Conference November 16-17, 2017 – Framingham, MA.


Thank you to all of you who submitted nominations. There were so many worthy candidates.

Posted in School Based Therapists | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Celebration of Neonatal Therapists

We were excited to join our professional partners, the National Association of Neonatal Therapists (NANT) in celebrating neonatal therapists everywhere during International Neonatal Therapist Week

Members of NANT were offered entry into a drawing to win a 2 day ERI course of their choice.

We received a tremendous response and would like to congratulate Angela, an OT from Cleveland OH, as the winner of our randomized drawing. 

Celebrating 30 years of life-changing learning, ERI provides evidence-based, clinically relevant CEU courses for neonatal  occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech language pathologists, Dieticians and Nurses working in the NICU, and beyond. Learn skills you’ll use right away, through hands-on learning. It’s about improving outcomes by improving patient care. Our cutting edge courses are taught by distinguished internationally renowned faculty who are leaders in their field.

Please click here to check out our CEU courses for the neonatal therapist and to learn more about NANT 

Posted in NICU | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


Nechama Karmen

We are thrilled to announce multiple opportunities to hear our new faculty member Nechama Karman speak:

If you Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function – Introductory Course Plus TWO days of Intensive LAB
December 1-3, 2017 – Wilkes Barre Township, PA
June 22-24, 2018 – San Antonio, TX
September 14-16, 2018 – Alexandria, VA

Annual Therapies in the School
November 16-17, 2017 – Framingham, MA

Nechama Karman, received her MSPT from Columbia University in 1994, her Advanced MS in orthopedic PT from Touro College in 1998, and she has completed all coursework toward a PhD in Health Sciences at Seton Hall University. She has held academic appointments at Hunter College and NYIT. Nechama is chief clinical educator at Mobility Research, providing pediatric and adult trainings, introductory and advanced seminars, webinars, and clinical support for LiteGait in the USA and internationally. She is a primary instructor in LiteGait’s “train the trainer” program. she treats patients with complex neurological conditions and/or complex pelvic conditions.

Nechama had served as a teaching assistant for each of Mary Massery’s courses for over a decade before starting a 2-year faculty apprenticeship in 2014. She became Mary’s first certified faculty member in June of 2016! One of Nechama’s proudest “Mary Massery” moments occurred when she treated a man suffering from prostatectomy-related incontinence using Mary’s approach. She taught him to transfer without incontinence for the first time in 9 months – all in under 15 minutes! She is passionate about helping other therapists learn these important concepts.

Nechama works closely with Mary Massery at Massery PT

What other are saying: 

“This course (If you Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function – Introductory Course Plus TWO days of Intensive LAB) exceeded my expectations. Everyone should take this course! Many treatment ideas that can be applied easily.” – L. Vanselow, SLP

“Nechama is a very relevant speaker and her presentation of Mary Massery’s information is excellent.” – L Jorns, PT

“Nechama is very knowledgeable and easy to listen to. Great info on anatomy and physiology in relation to postural control. Definitely new outlook on things! The course booklet is very thorough. References are amazing! Slides and case study photos extremely helpful.”

Posted in News | Leave a comment

To Intervene or Not? PT or no PT? Motor Issues in Autism


Here’s something I struggle with every year. That ambulatory, fast, strong child with autism. Gross motor delays? Absolutely. Typical movement patterns? No way.

Do I keep this child on program? Do we want to be making him stronger and faster? What should I recommend?

I remember one year going round and round with a parent who wanted her child to receive PT so he could play ball. We would spend session after session attempting to play ball. After several years, we were finally up to 4 repetitions. Was it because he had no interest? Was it because the frequency of 1 x 30 minutes per week? Was it because the motor planning and attention required was too far beyond his current skill level? Did I give up too early?

One of my biggest struggles in working with a severely autistic child is how to make my extrinsic goals intrinsic to the child. My random, extrinsic-based goals (skipping, ball play, etc) often have little value in the child’s world, and are therefore unmotivating. Without the support of a conditioned-response (ABA) type program, applying value becomes difficult.

Understanding why a child with autism has movement disorder is key in decision making, as is using evidence-based strategies. Goal-setting becomes critical in ensuring that goals are motivating to both the student and the therapist.

To continue this discussion, plan on attending Jennifer Colebourn and Julie Goff’s session, Using Evidence to Help Guide Decisions on Goals, Dosage, Frequency, Priorities, and Interventions for Motor Issues in Autism at the
Eighteenth Annual Therapies in the School Conference – November 16-17, 2017 – Framingham, MA

~Kathryn Biel, PT, DPT

Posted in School Based Therapists | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Speaker Spotlight – Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS

Holly Schifsky OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS

We are honored to welcome Holly Schifsky to our faculty and thrilled that she will be presenting her course: Baby Beats and Breaths: Therapeutic Interventions for the Premature Infant with Cardiopulmonary Compromise in 2018. 

Having first met her at the 2017 NANT conference, we know that she will be so well received by our community of therapists.

Holly is an Occupational Therapist who has worked in pediatrics for the past 20 years with the past 15 years in a level 4 NICU.  She is a Certified Neonatal Therapist, Certified Neonatal Touch and Massage Therapist, Certified Brain Injury therapist, an active member of National Association of Neonatal Therapists, and has completed 6-month mentorship in infant/child NDT.  She has worked within the NICU and NICU follow-up clinic to maximize patient and family outcomes for the most complex premature and medically-fragile term infants.  Holly received her bachelors degree in Occupational therapy from the University of North Dakota in 1997.  She has dedicated her career to clinical care and advancing developmental care practice patterns for all multidisciplinary team members.  She has presented at many regional and national conferences including NANT, Audrey Harris Vision NICU conference, and the University of Minnesota NICU conference.  

Baby Beats and Breaths: Therapeutic Interventions for the Premature Infant with Cardiopulmonary Compromise
This course will focus on the cardiopulmonary implications for the premature or medically-complex infant as related to physiological stability, evolving motor control, sensory stability, and transition to oral motor skills that support feeding. It will focus on advancing the critical reasoning skills of the neonatal therapist to support the infant’s ability to obtain foundational motor and sensory skills. These skills include the ability of the infant to cough, produce audible phonation, oral motor skills, swallow skills, trunk facilitation, gestational age appropriate positioning/handling to support the emergence of gross motor skills for postural stability. You will learn movement analysis skills (via lab time and video presentations) to assess breathing patterns, facilitation techniques to support trunk development, positioning strategies to support chest wall development, and feeding techniques to maximize postural control. 

January 19-20, 2018 – Akron, OH
March 2-3, 2018 – Washington, DC
September 29-30, 2018 – Houston, TX

to learn about course relevant to your field coming to your region.

Posted in Feeding, NICU, Pediatrics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

NEW Course – Vision, Ocular-Motor and Movement Strategies for Integrated Learning

NEW Course Spotlight:

Vision, Ocular-Motor and Movement Strategies for Integrated Learning
from respected ERI faculty member June Smith

This course will focus on clinical decision-making for the use of vision, occulomotor and movement strategies to enhance outcomes. Emphasis will be on frameworks used with special populations and analysis of assessment data. Movement-based therapeutic strategies and ocular-motor assessment will be incorporated through case study review for effective and evidence-based treatment planning. Video case analysis will allow attendees to sharpen observational and assessment skills and integrate course material for more complex clinical data-based decision making in order to L.E.A.R.N.

  • Learn through integration
  • Engagement
  • Adjust expectations
  • Repeat predictable patterns
  • Notice shifts in system

Don’t miss this course, coming to these locations (check back for TBA venues):

October 13-14, 2017 – Cedar Knolls, NJ
November 10-11, 2017 – Portsmouth, NH
March 23-24, 2018 – TBA
April 27-28, 2018 – Aurora, IL
October 20-21, 2018 – Hartford, CT
November 9-10, 2018 – TBA

Click here for more course details, to download a brochure, for CEU information or to register.


Posted in Pediatrics, School Based Therapists | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking for Approved PT CEUs for New Jersey Renewal? Deadline is Fast Approaching

Education Resources provides education that reminds therapists why they love what they do. Improve outcomes by improving patient care.
Don’t miss approved CEUs for the PT licensed in New Jersey and New York

Please click on a link for a full course description, faculty bio, course brochure including a schedule and registration information
Further courses may be added as venues become confirmed.

Courses below (in NJ and neighboring states) have been approved by the New Jersey Board of Physical Therapy Examiners or have applications being processed.

Treatment of the Hypotonic Child 
Linda Kliebhan
October 6-7, 2017 – New Brunswick, NJ

Assessment and Treatment of Children with Oral Motor, Feeding/Swallowing and Respiratory Function Challenges: Children with Neuromuscular Involvement 
Rona Alexander
October 6-8, 2017 – Valhalla, NY

Early Intervention for Infants and Young Children (0-5): Sensory, Feeding, Behavior
Randy Fedoruk
October 13-14, 2017 – Hamden, CT

Children’s Brains, Neuroplasticity, and Pediatric Intervention: What’s the Evidence?
Patricia Montgomery
October 13-14, 2017

NEW Vision, Ocular-Motor and Movement Strategies for Integrated Learning 
June Smith
October 13-14, 2017 – Cedar Knolls, NJ

Pharmacology Fundamentals for Therapists
Mark Nash
October 21, 2017 – Edison, NJ

Evidence Based Cancer Rehabilitation Resources and Its Role in Cancer Survivorship
Mary Calys
October 28-29, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA

Get Ready to Learn: Therapeutic Yoga Therapy in the Classroom 
Anne Buckley-Reen
November 2-3, 2017 – Edison, NJ

Practical Intervention Strategies for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Evidence Based Approach 
Stacey Szklut
November 4-5, 2017 – Middletown, NY

Functional Strengthening in Children
Maria Fragala and Maggie O’Neil
November 10-11, 2017 – Washington, DC

Intervention in the NICU: A Neurodevelopmental Approach
Roberta Gatlin
November 10-11, 2017 – Bayside, NY

Taping to Improve Alignment, Strength and Function in Children 
Jackie Grimentstein
November 10-11, 2017 – Pennington, NJ

Tools to Enhance Motor Control, Motor Learning and Strength for Function
Paula Cox
November 10-11, 2017 – Mountainside, NJ

Vestibular Rehabilitation: Evaluation and Treatment of Dizziness and Balance 
Jeffrey Walter
November 10-11, 2017 – Wilkes-Barre Township, PA

Vestibular Rehabilitation: Advanced
Richard Clendaniel
November 11-12, 2017 – West Haverstraw, NY

Effectively Treat Behavior in Children: Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing, Cognitive Limitations, PTSD and Other Challenges 
John Pagano
November 11-12, 2017 – Staten Island, NY

The Zones of Regulation: A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control
Leah Kuypers
November 15, 2017 – Framingham, MA

Annual Therapies in the School Conference
Multi Faculty
November 16-17, 2017 – Framingham, MA

Intervention in the NICU: A Neurodevelopmental Approach 
Roberta Gatlin
November 17-18, 2017 – Bayside, NY

Post Concussion Syndrome 
Christina Finn
November 18-19, 2017 – Staten Island, NY

Management of Acutely Ill Patients: An Evidence Based Approach from a Cardiopulmonary Perspective 
Komal Deokule
December 1-2, 2017 – White Plains, NY

If You Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function – Introductory Course plus TWO days of Intensive LAB
Nechama Karman
December 1-3, 2017 – Wilkes Barre Township, PA

Mealtime Success: Solving Food Refusals with Self-Regulation Strategies and Evidence-Based Nutrition
Susan Roberts
December 1-2, 2017 – Washington, DC

Postural Control for UE and LE Function: NDT Approach, Motor Learning, Evidence Based Practice
Monica Diamond
December 2-3, 2017 – Alexandria, VA

NICU Therapy: Developmental Support from Admit to Home
Lisa Kleinz
December 2-3, 2017

The Zones of Regulation: A Framework to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control
Leah Kuypers
December 7, 2017 – Iselin, NJ

NEW Myofascial Release and Its Application to Neuro-Developmental Treatment 
Gail Ritchie
December 8-9, 2017 – Mountainside, NJ

Treating Falls and Balance Problems
Jennifer Bottomley
December 9-10, 2017 – Somerville, NJ

Education Resources applies to the New Jersey Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for all relevant courses being held in New Jersey and neighboring states.
NJ PT and PTA licenses expire on January 31st, 2018 

Education Resources is an approved provider by the New York State Board of Physical Therapy.

ONLINE COURSES for the Pediatric and Adult Therapist

Join Our Mailing List  – Get notified when courses relevant to your practice come to your area


Posted in Professional Development | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – How Early Intervention Can Help

Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome often present with sensory or motor issues from infancy.

Education Resources  Inc offers this 3 day live, hands-on course:
“Contemporary NDT Treatment of the Baby and Young Child”
Suzanne Davis Bombria, PT, C/NDT
which will teach you to identify these sensory-motor issues, analyze function, and develop treatment strategies for the infant and toddler.

Jan Mc Elroy, PhD, PT, PCS, C/NDT similarly presents a three day, live, hands-on course which focuses on infants who are born preterm and who may present with global developmental delay. You will learn to identify and treat insufficient and atypical movement components seen in infancy that can interfere with the development of functional activities and the development of coordination. This course covers the respiratory, visual, medical and physical challenges to effectively formulate treatment techniques to meet the needs of these infants.

Infants Born Preterm: Identifying and Addressing Their Special Needs in Early Infancy to Support Development

We would like to share this article:

Therapy helps a child with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – September 25. 2017

“………..therapists lately have seen more mothers using both alcohol and other substances in pregnancy. Treating drug-addicted babies has gotten a lot of attention, …..but the word about alcohol exposure isn’t getting out”.

“Early intervention can help with sleep disturbances, not gaining weight and feeding problems, and age-related typical milestones, such as crawling, walking and using the early sounds of language”.

“An occupational therapist can help the family overcome sensory-processing disorders………..They have a hypersensitivity to sound, to light, to touch, taste, smells.” 

“Although the brain is still developing up to the age of 25,………….much can be done before the age of 3”.

Please read the full article here:


Posted in Pediatrics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reflex Integration in the Schools



While performing the BOT-2, I ask a child to stand in tandem on my tape line. As the child attempts this skill, I immediately notice her arms internally rotating as her feet are internally rotating. She seems unable to move her legs without her arms following suit. I’ll do a little more testing, but that one thing sends up a red-flag warning—there’s an unintegrated Moro reflex.

Does it matter? Should I focus on it? Do I even mention it? Is it a school-based issue?

Let me look at this child a bit more: intelligent, emotional, impulsive, self-directed and strong-willed. Having difficulty with outbursts in school. The Moro reflex acts as a baby’s primitive fight/flight reaction and is typically replaced by the adult startle reflex by four months old. If a child experiences a retained Moro reflex beyond 4 months, she may become over sensitive and over reactive to sensory stimulus resulting in poor impulse control, sensory overload, anxiety and emotions and social immaturity. Some additional signs of a retained Moro reflex are motion sickness, poor balance, poor coordination, easily distracted, unable to adapt well to change, and mood swings.

So yes, it does appear this is impacting education. I’ve evaluated children who literally fall out of their seat in class due to an unintegrated Moro. A retained STNR (Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex) will impact a child’s ability to work in a desk, remaining seated while looking at the board and then down at the paper (i.e., copying information).  On the other hand, ask a roomful of adults to perform the starfish exercise (the exercise to integrate the Moro). Many will not be able to do it, which indicates that they are not fully integrated. Yet they are fully-functioning adults. Therefore, the presence of a retained reflex may not always impact education.

Assuming it is determined that the reflex is impacting education, the next issue is how to implement a reflex-integration program. Evidence shows that with daily performance of the exercises, reflexes can be integrated in about 6 weeks. However, caseloads and schedules don’t allow for a daily program, which requires creative thinking. Often I reach out to parents, have them come in, and teach them the exercises. Ideally, the program is done at home with homework. We all know it’s not an ideal world.

However, it makes no sense to me to pull a child for a 30-minute session and do integration exercises for at least half of the session, especially when the efficacy of doing the exercises one to two times a week is questionable. What else can we do? How can we help with this? Is there evidence to support these program?

To continue the discussion about retained reflexes, check out Janine Wiskind’s

Reflex Integration: Is it Relevant to my School-Based Practice

at the Eighteenth Annual Therapies in the School Conference.

~Kathryn Biel, PT, DPT




Posted in School Based Therapists | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Speaker Spotlight – Karen Jacobs EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA

ERI Faculty Memeber Karen Jacobs

Karen Jacobs EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA

ERI is honored to welcome Karen Jacobs as a new faculty member, and thrilled that she will be speaking at this year’s annual conference:

Therapies in the School
November 16-17, 2017 – Framingham, MA

Karen Jacobs is a clinical professor of occupational therapy and the program director of the distance education post-professional occupational therapy programs at Boston University. She has expertise in the development and instruction of on-line graduate courses. In addition to being an occupational therapist, Jacobs is also a certified professional ergonomist (CPE). She has a private practice in ergonomics.

Jacobs earned her BA at Washington University in St. Louis, her MS at Boston University, and her doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Jacob’s research examines the interface between the environment and human capabilities. In particular, she examines the individual factors and environmental demands associated with increased risk of functional limitations among populations of university and middle school–aged students, particularly in notebook computing, backpack use, and games such as WiiFit. Most recently, she is co-developing, with Dr. Nancy Baker at the University of Pittsburgh, the Telerehabilitation Computer Ergonomics System (tele-CES) for computer users with arthritis. The tele-CES is a remote systematic ergonomics program aimed a substantially reducing work disability among workers with any type of arthritis.

Jacobs is the founding editor-in-chief of the international, interdisciplinary peer reviewed journal WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2010.

Jacobs is a past president and vice-president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She is a 2005 recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Akureyri in Akureyri, Iceland; the 2009 recipient of the Award of Merit from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT); and recipient of the Award of Merit from the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2003.

Karen’s dynamic session at Therapies in the School 2017:

Using the iPad and Apps as Cognitive Support Technology in the Classroom
This hands-on workshop will discuss the iPad and Apps as cognitive support technology that can be used effectively in the classroom. Participants will use case studies to facilitate the selection of appropriate Apps to address cognitive challenges. 

Please click here for a brochure and detailed information


Posted in School Based Therapists | Tagged , , | Leave a comment